Nigeria approves Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine

...begins inoculation of AstraZeneca Wednesday

The Nigerian government has approved China’s Sinopharm (1099.HK) COVID-19 vaccine to fight against the disease.

Faisal Shuaib, executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said this at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.

The approval, according to Shuaib, was recently granted by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). The executive director said the vaccine has also received the World Health Organisation (WHO) certification.

“NAFDAC has approved Sinopharm vaccine, the approval was done three days ago; and yes, Sinopharm vaccine has also received WHO certification. So, it is a potential vaccine that we could use.

Read Also: COVID-19: Nigeria still a long way from vaccination goal – WHO

“There are so many vaccines out there, but, one thing that we are very clear about is that we are not going to use all the available vaccines in Nigeria; at some point, we are going to draw a line in terms of the number of vaccine we would use so that we can keep a close watch on the number of vaccines we are utilising in Nigeria”, Shuaib said.

The ED further informed that the administration of AstraZeneca vaccine across the country will begin on Wednesday, August 25, and end September 5.

According to him, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be used as the second dose for those who received their first doses, to ensure they are fully vaccinated. Shuaib also informed that 29 states have so far received some portion of the Moderna vaccines.

According to him, the remaining states have not shown any readiness to build the needed capacity to store the vaccines.

Shuaib stressed the need for state governments to ensure effective storage of vaccines received, adding that they must have backup storage facilities such as walk-in cold room, walk-in freezer or chest freezers with reliable 24-hour power supply.

“We want to ensure that any state we are sending the vaccine to is fully ready to receive them. Readiness here means that the state’s ultra-cold chain equipment is fully functional and able to store the vaccines at the required temperatures.

“Additionally, we require that the States have completed the training of health care workers who will monitor the equipment and the vaccines”, he added.